“Vapid, visionless, vacuous document” is how the 2021 national budget was described on Monday morning when Opposition Member of Parliament Amanza Walton-Desir led off the debate on the budget. The $381 billion budget which was presented by Minister with responsibility for Finance Dr Ashni Singh proves that the country will be saddled with more debt the APNU/AFC member told the House.
“Mr. Speaker, by the end of 2021, if everything goes right with this budget, we would have racked up new debt of about US $1 billion,” she said, “in stark terms that is equivalent to 5 times the amount of money we have in the Natural Resource Fund, to put in even more stark terms Mr. Speaker, if I divide that $200 billion which is an approximation of what the debt will be by the end of 2021, if I divide that by 750,000, then you understand the burden that that each citizen, every man, woman and child will be saddled …. And this will just be in the space of one year, 5 months of the PPP/C in office,” the member of parliament explained.
Walton-Desir said that each Guyanese born in the next generation will be deprived to the extent that this generation has borrowed, “so we are saddling our children and their children with debt,” Walton-Desir told the House on Monday.
MP Walton-Desir also accused the government of being inconsiderate of small business as these were not considered in the crafting of the budget, “glaringly absent from the Budget Mr. Speaker is any specific relief measure to cushion small business from the effects of the pandemic an aid in their recovery,” the MP said, “in fact the micro, the small and the medium -scale enterprises have suffered the same fate under budget 2021. Mr. Speaker, the paltry $250 million set aside for the Small business development fund will make no appreciable impact. So despite the grandiose promises, this administration has failed to deliver for small businesses in Guyana,” she pointed out.